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Precautionary measures older travelers must consider

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Whether retired or simply an empty nester, older men and women often love their increased opportunities to travel and see the world. Without kids to cater to or college tuition to pay, men and women approaching retirement age, or those who have already passed it by, find themselves with more free time to take to the highways and skyways and experience other cultures.

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Before setting out to see the world, older travelers should consider a host of factors.

Documentation

Older travelers tend to travel abroad more than they do domestically, so be sure all documentation, including passports for each traveler, is up-to-date. If you're traveling for an especially long period of time, be sure your passport is valid beyond the length of the trip. The United States Department of State also notes travelers must determine if the country they plan to visit requires a visa to enter.

In addition to passports and any visas you might need, make sure your driver's licenses and auto insurance policies are current and will remain so through the trip.

Climate & Geography

It's also important to consider geographical conditions before establishing any travel plans. Older men and women tend to have more health issues and might even be on prescriptions that can make it challenging to travel to certain areas. Before committing to a trip, consult your physician about the possible effects a certain climate might have on you personally. Some people might be sensitive to altitude and therefore unable to travel to high-altitude locations without putting themselves at serious risk.

Luggage & Wardrobe

When traveling, it might be comforting to overpack because it can give you the feeling you're prepared for any situation that might arise. But don't pack so heavily that your luggage becomes a nuisance to take from place to place. If you're traveling to especially tourist-friendly regions, keep in mind such locales often have all a traveler needs should he or she have forgotten something or experiences an emergency.

Contact Information

While a vacation is an escape for many people, you don't want to escape from the world entirely. Make sure loved ones back home have your itinerary and know where you will be staying should an emergency occur. If traveling abroad where you won't have cell phone service, choose resorts or hotels with Internet access and ensure friends or family members you will check in periodically via e-mail. While staying in touch might not be reminiscent of the carefree travels of your youth, doing so will help your loved ones rest easy and will prove invaluable should something unexpected occur.

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